Charlie’s challenge raises over £400 for Rainbow Ward

Charlie Walker with Rainbow Ward manager Jo Rackham. Photo: My WiSH

A challenge to complete 5k every day over a month has led to Charlie Walker raising a total of £447.50 for charity.

If he was not running the distance he was getting on his bike to cycle his route through Thetford Forest with his two-year-old Springer Spaniel Woody.

He carried out the task during April eventually clocking up 150k with his efforts raising the money for the My WiSH Charity.

His initial target was £300 but he managed to beat that with the funds being directed to the Rainbow Ward of the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

Charlie, who delivers training to the five councils in the Anglia Revenues Partnership (East Suffolk, West Suffolk, Breckland, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire) is a member of Thetford Athletics Club and takes part in the weekly Park Run events in the town so is accustomed to pounding the local routes.

The 34-year-old, who lives in the town, set off for his first run on April 1 but towards the end of the month he became “thoroughly fed up” with the challenge, however, he kept going in the knowledge that he was running in aid of the charity.

Charlie and his 32-year-old wife Shelley, who works for Breckland Council, had IVF treatment which resulted in their two sons, Ralph, now five, and Percy, two, being born at the West Suffolk.

The two boys were cared for on the Rainbow Ward with Charlie describing the staff “as nothing short of miracle workers” which prompted him to raise the money for the unit.

The couple have a family link with the unit as ward manager Jo Rackham’s husband works with Shelley’s father so Charlie knows how hard they work and wanted to give something back to support Jo and her staff.

Charlie said: “The challenge was pretty full on and it was tricky fitting it in with us caring for the two boys but I managed to do it. I live close to the forest so it’s kind of on my doorstep and it took me an average of 25 minutes to complete the 5k but slightly quicker on my bike when I took Woody with me.

“But by the time I got to 20/21 days I was thoroughly fed up but it was the motivation of the charity that kept me going.”

Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for My WiSH, thanked Charlie and said: “We have used the donation to buy items for the parent room, now the ward is able to welcome them back following the Covid pandemic and they have purchased a microwave, kettle, toaster, cutlery and crockery. These items will really make a difference to people at a difficult time so we can’t thank Charlie enough for his support”.

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